Hunting for answers

EPICLY LONG Jessie Post ahead—if you read to the end- thanks in advance- Love you peeps and am grateful for your comments, thoughts input and support more than I could ever express. I am also going out on a limb and posting pretty personal medical battles that my son is enduring-I am very mindful of and respect his privacy whenever I post- so I have asked him for permission to write about this and he is ok with it.  He says me sharing about the concerns on my blog so that we can keep our loved ones in the loop and connect with others that may help is actually good.

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I write this post from Cardon Childrens- where Ty is now in his 26th hour of hospital clean out from a major bowel impaction (this is the first time he has been so impacted from his bowel issues that he required hospitalization for assistance)–We tried our normal home remedies for 24 hours prior to admitting defeat and coming in for professional help. That defeat has been soul crushing for me- especially since all we are currently doing here at the hospital is everything we were doing at home– just slightly more frequent. ( I just wont have to do the laundry that we are creating so I guess there is that)

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I have so many things I want to say about this all- but not sure where to begin- this is going to be an exhaustion fueled rambling novella for sure.

Hospital nursing and tech staff so far are good (our current nurse is actually amazing) but I am the one primarily taking CARE of my son—they come in for vitals and to administer meds and pretty much to see if there is anything else we need- I handle the bathroom trips- I mop the floor when we can not make it there in time- I change the linens and help him clean himself in the shower after every trip to the toilet—if it was all left to the staff we would have to call them every 5 minutes—I know we could have chosen to do a clean out at home- but I feel more equipped to get it done correctly and completely here-so I feel compelled to be as involved as I am (besides I feel a sense of guilt being here at all) Plus I wanted to advocate for this visit to be more than just getting him to poop clear- I needed it to be the time where we work towards real answers and stop with bandaids.

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Part of me opted for admisssion for clean out rather than continuing to try at home because I figured we could get the ball rolling on investigating issues deeper and begin collecting information through tests. If we are gonna have him admitted, hooked to an IV, getting cleaned out and already here in the hospital- why not make the very most of the resources and people in the building- why not schedule the colonoscopy and endoscopy that our GI will want in a week when we follow up with her so we can be ready with info and not make him go through a clean out for the procedure again- The hospitalist and the GI Doc who came in for consult though are “adequate ” at best and are providing their very best “holiday weekend baseline minimal care” and have made that bluntly clear to us. I do not know that my patient advocacy would have been more effective on a week day but based off of a very heated conversation with both of them that is exactly the sentiment they each expressed-repeatedly.

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I really wanted a neurological consult as well- but it has been made very clear to me that my son will be receiving the least staff involved “care” during this visit possible-anything beyond basic clean out is considered elective” and will have to be scheduled later after discharge. We have been flat out denied a colonscopy/endoscopy because — and I quote– “It is a Saturday on a Holiday weekend.” So the best course of treatment for my special needs son who is already in the hospital, already undergoing a clean out, already hooked up to IVs is for him to undergo ALL of that again in 2 weeks once his GI decides that is her next step- all because of the day it is on the calendar. I love healthcare.

Things need to change for Ty and a real good hard look at the things we have truthfully avoided (dietary and naturopathic options) are likely our best hope right now for that change. Along with dietary changes I need him tested for neurological issues related to these impactions. I know that gut issues and autism are common and many of our kiddos on the spectrum suffer with bowel issues- but I feel like many of us all get the same cookie cutter treatment plans and it can not be all the same like that–everyone is different our spectrum kids especially. I truly think something else may be going on with his nerves and his muscles that exacerbates this and now that he is 15 we need to be moving towards treatment and not continued dependence on care and meds that only work on the symptoms and not treating the actual issue itself. (whatever that may be) This should have been something we approached long ago but to be honest were lazy. I will no longer settle for more of this cookie cutter B.S. reactive treatment plan we have followed for years. I have done so because it was easiest and I could justify it using blind faith in a system I have always questioned (except with regard to this issue apparently)–somehow I fooled myself into just saying “this is what doctors are telling us to do- they know best”—but I need to yank myself out of that denial and buckle down for the real hard work if I want to see my child heal. It boils down to I want answers or at least to be on a path towards answers and I really expected to be able to successfully work as a team with the caregivers on this campus during this admission to move forward in that direction. The LAST thing I expected was for a medical professional to flat out deny a course of action simply because of the day of the week it is and nothing else.

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During this hospital stay I have also discovered that for Ty to eliminate urine he has to push down on this bladder—I asked him if this is an always thing or only when he is constipated and he said “always–that’s how I start my pee” Since it never would have occurred to him that it is not normal to need to press on your bladder to initiate that, it has never come up as a concern before (and I don’t routinely watch my 15 year old pee-so would have not known had it not been for this clean out.) So that is now reason #2 for wanting a neurological consult as well to see if maybe he has some issues with nerves in his pelvic region where his faculties are just not responding etc—this would explain a LOT of why he tends to get backed up easily-maybe he has no muscle control–match that with him being overly stimulated but any sensations of even the softest or most liquid stool coming out (what we may feel as “uncomfortable” or just pressure and he is in tears crying saying its an 8 on the pain scale) and all of this is a recipe for withholding.  That will have to be pursued after discharge though- The most we may get is possibly a urology consult and that depends on who is on call on a Sunday of a holiday weekend.

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My heart has ached this visit because daily I see the independence he is capable of having as the high functioning individual that he is—and then in this environment how utterly dependent on a caregiver he is when faced with these trials. So then not only do we have the medical scenarios to work through in and of itself- but I have to be “training him” and using this as a life skill training session which just adds to the exhaustion (I know I do not HAVE to– but one day I wont be here and he will need to know how to be his own advocate without a mother hen hovering so I kinda do HAVE to that’s part of parenting with special needs) So finding the right balance of my just caring for him and showing him my love in that way and also using things as teachable moments so he is becoming equipped for life later is utterly exhausting. I do not know how those of you with kiddos who manage life living with consistent medical issues deal with hospitals regularly- in some ways even live most of the time in them. I am only 2 days in since we arrived  (3 dealing with the issues if you count what we tried to do at home before coming in) and I am just spent.

I do not know exactly where to go from here- but I suspect I will be reaching out for direction in the autism community from those who have travelled the dietary and naturopatic (probiotics/supplements etc) routes with success for their kiddos gut issues. I am a needle in a compass furiously spinning looking for true north—anyone with a map that has been successful for them I would love a glimpse.

Thanks for reading.

Jessie

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Not the Same Jesus

If you have read my previous post about What I Believe then you know I am a Christian.

Living in Gilbert, AZ our family is surrounded by many faiths but the Mormon faith (LDS, Latter Day Saints) is very prominent here.  We have many friends, co-workers and even extended family by marriage that are Mormon.  We love and cherish them dearly.  We however do not believe in the same Jesus that they do and this comes up often whether it is socially, online or even in church sermons done at Sun Valley that have triggered discussion on the topic with our Mormon friends.  Don’t get me wrong these discussions, for the most part, have always been very civil, very polite and very courteous.  They always have ended with simple friendly agreements to disagree.  So why do I need to blog about this? Because, to me it matters.  And to my Mormon friends it matters too.  The differences matter, they do,  if they did not then there would not be an “LDS church” and a “Bible teaching church.” It is far from being just differences in style- it is fundamental differences in doctrine that separate the two. Anyone who truly believes that the differences ultimately do not matter is not giving you the full version of their faith and or they may not even know it themselves.

Mind you, I am not a Mormon religion expert and  I know there are thousands of articles proclaiming the differences between New testament Christianity and Mormonism intent on pointing out the flaws – that is not my goal.  The whole reason I feel compelled so strongly to even write this post is to just put the beliefs side by side so the differences speak for themselves.  I know my Mormon friends believe that when they evangelise to me, my husband or my sons, that it is in love because they too want “conversion” of a heart just as badly as I want it.  So this post is not to make any of my Mormon loved ones think that I want them to stop talking to me about religion–just as much as I hope they do not want me to cease in speaking to them about how Jesus has changed my life.  Nor do I want it to wedge or push anyone away from me, I just feel like we need to stop pretending that the “elephant in the room” is just not there. Why now?  Honestly there are many reasons that now feels like the right time- a recent dialogue on Facebook from Mormon friends, learning that our son’s girlfriend is being baptised into the Mormon church in a couple of weeks and most importantly I feel called to write this.

Now as my sons are beginning to grow into men who will be eventually dating and marrying it is vitally important that the distinction be clear and non-confusing. Having one son who will be a sophomore and another going into 8th grade it is very apparent the level of influence that the Mormon church has within our school system.  I am not talking about teachers, administrators or even through the local school board – I mean literally AT the schools themselves.  Especially the high schools- the Mormon church has this very, very strong influence on high school campuses here in Arizona because it is often the Mormon church who has strategically donated or significantly reduced the cost of land for schools to be built on- and then always, across the street, there is a Mormon Seminary building.  I can not think of a single public high school in the entire east valley that does not have an LDS seminary across the street (or even within the same campus) as it.  LDS students often leave campus during special release agreements so their seminary education can “complement their secular learning” (wow- if our church had that kind of pull imagine what we could do with it?– how on Earth is this so under the radar of the anti “even a sniff of religion” in school peeps?)- Droves of LDS students take their lunch breaks (one of the most social times of the school day at the seminary and there are often special events like tailgate, parties or bar-b-qs planned to invite others to. It is a huge draw for students who are unchurched, especially those without cars since it is very easily accessible and with a built-in social network that you do not want to be left out of (if all of your other friends are going over there) it is really effective.  Tyler has a strong, sincere and unwavering heart for Jesus- he also has autism.  You can see how we, as his parents, feel compelled to get on our knees regularly asking for his heart to be protected from deception or any kind- but especially, most importantly of his faith.

This post is also for Connor-(who I am pretty much talking to directly since he reads this blog regularly) Con- as you begin to navigate your teen years and start to make those friends that will really leave a lasting imprint on your youth it has been fun to watch you test out friendships.  Of course we want our sons to be surrounded by people who have similar values, those with strong pillars of character and who are genuinely decent, kind and generous people.  We want you to know that you can be friends with people who have different faiths than us- Jesus wants us to love one another. He himself socialized with sinners so it’s not wrong to be friends with or to think someone who happens to be Mormon is a nice person- they likely are very much so.  Also don’t feel like you have to  convert them either. If God wants to use you to speak truth into someones life- he will empower you to do so.  Just be friends- just know that there are many techniques that are used to be enticing (just like how SVCC does special outreach events) etc. so if you ever are feeling pressured or pulled to anything let’s talk it over.

Anyways- so as you can see I am very convicted for personal reasons about this post.  The momma bear in me is very present, but even more present is Jesus who I trust is guiding my thoughts, helping me to flush this all out and providing me with an incredible sense of peace about the entire topic.  I began writing this post several days ago and have taken the time to prayerfully consider what it all is that I want this post to say.  I had at first envisioned a grand comparison chart type deal but I truly feel unprepared to tackle it that way. Instead, I think I will just embed the sermon Chad Moore from Sun Valley Community Church did in 2014 that really hit on the Big Differences well  It is 39 1/2 minutes long but very well done- very cordial, kind and clear.  Chad’s sources were direct from local Mormon leaders here in AZ that met with Chad as he prepared for this series as well as direct from their own books.  The three key points touched on are:

1. Different Foundation

• LDS believes: The KJV Bible (correctly translated), Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, The Prophet

• New testament Christianity believes: The Bible

2. Different Theology

• LDS believes: “Father” is literal, no Trinity, Pre-mortal Existence

• New Testament Christianity believes: “Father” is metaphor, The Trinity, Jesus IS God

3. Different Gospel

• LDS believes: Resurrected by grace, but saved (exalted to godhead) by works, including faithfulness to church leaders, Mormon baptism, tithing, ordination, marriage, and secret temple rituals. No eternal life without Mormon membership.

• New Testament Christianity believes: Salvation is by God’s grace through Jesus, not an individual’s works.

What's the Difference? – Mormonism vs The Gospel from Sun Valley Community Church on Vimeo.

What’s the Difference?
Mormonism, Islam, New Age Spiritualism, Catholicism, Protestantism, so What's the Difference? With all the varying faiths around us, what are we to believe? What do the other religions really teach? In this series we’ll examine why we can believe the Bible, what other religions teach and how to talk to people of other faiths.

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV)

 

 

 

What I Believe

I am a Christian.

Four words that depending on who you talk to can mean very different things.

My goal with this blog post is to explain what it means to me and my family, what we believe and why we want so badly for those we love and even complete strangers  to us to also follow Christ.

If you want to know what I, Jessica Danielle Geroux believe as far as a “statement of faith” then here is my attempt that that:

I believe that the Bible is the Word of God- it is true and it is without error.

I believe in Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God and also is God and also is the Holy Sprit (three in one)  An example used in our church to help demystify that concept is to not think of it as addition as in 1+1+1 but to think of it as multiplication 1 God x 1 Son x 1 Holy Spirt= 1.  The trinity can trip a LOT of people up but it is paramount to my understanding of WHO Jesus Christ is and it sets apart my definition of Him from many others. (John 1:1, 10:30)

I beleive that Jesus was born of a Virgin (when in our 12 month calendar is not something I hang up on, but Culturally and in our modern day society we celebrate that birth at “Christmas time.”) He was conceived by the Holy Spirit

I believe that there is spiritual warfare- the devil (satan) and demons are real and they have true influence over people on Earth.

I believe in Heaven and in Hell. Hell is a real place set aside for Satan and his demons and for anyone that does not accept Jesus as their Savior. Heaven is a place that we will get to be with Jesus, God, Angels and other Believers. Eventually Heaven will be established here on Earth once Jesus has victory over satan in an epic battle.

I believe that God gave His only Son (Jesus) as a total sacrafice to atone for the Sins of those who believe.  That without that sacrafice I alone would never be able to pay the debt of my sin.  I can never be good enough, kind enough, charitable enough, honest enough, generous enough, loving enough,  or selfless enough to even come close to a fraction of anythign worthy of paying the debt for my Sin.  The ONLY thing that can pay that debt was the death of Jesus.

I believe he suffered a great deal and died and was buried.

I believe that Three days later he rose again and asended into Heaven.

I believe that while he preached on Earth His greatest message to all was LOVE God and ONE ANOTHER- that if we can not wrap our minds around anything else in the Bible because we are not scholars or historians or linguists that know Hebrew etc– that we can understand ALL of it by simply understanding His commandment to Love.

I lean very heavily into all five points of “Calvinism”

“Total Depravity”- man alone is so sinful we will never naturally choose God

“Unconditional Election”- becasue we will never alone choose God- he chooses us. Some are choosen- some are not (obviously- sicne not everyone believes in God)

“limited Atonement”- Jesus died for those who beleive in him (as opposed to “for everyone”)- His death was sufficient for all- but obviously since not everyone believes in Him- it does not pay their debt (does that make sense?)

“Irresistable Grace”- If God wants you- He gets you. That is how powerful the God I beleive in is. He uses the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those He wants and then they come freely to Him.

“Preserverance of the Saints” – you cannot lose your salvation

If I have to “choose” I guess I would consider myself a premillennialism believer meaning I think we are already living in the “end times” but and that there will be a Rapture— Basically how the “Left Behind Books” reads I guess but mostly because I really have never studied it all.

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As a Christian that attends church regularly, participates in Bible studies and small group discussions there is so much more that we dig into to help us with application of what the Word of God (The Bible) tells us about how to live our lives- but the above is the main stuff that matters.

Why is it important to me to write this down and share it online?  For one it is easy to share it this way. For two- my words can not be mistaken or repackaged into anything other than what they are.  For three- it may be used to bring someone close to Jesus and that is the real reward. Honestly it all boils down to what Jesus did on the cross and how understanding exactly what His death and resurrection accomplished (and for who– hint me and even you) is central to all of my “theology”

Run for the Hills!

If I could run- that is exactly what I would have done to get away from the orthopedic doctor that we visited with on Monday.  I can not recall a time when I have felt more belittled, squashed and just plain dismissed by a professional than what happened at this visit.  This post is long, long, long winded—so if you make it to the end- bravo and thanks.

Let me preface this all to say that I took the quickest appointment with the myriad of orthopedic groups that I called last week so that I could get seen prior to heading on a 5 day girls trip to DC later this week.  I got a ton of great recommendations from friends that have had similar knee surgeries or issues as me so I started by calling each one of those offices- many of them could not see me until Mid to late April- one could see me the evening before my flight and one could see me on Monday (but not the doctor that was recommended to me by friends- a different doc in the group.) So I took the Monday appointment because I just needed to get in somewhere and hopefully get a brace if nothing else and then when I get back I can seek further opinions if needed.

I am going to refrain from posting the name or the group on this blog-for now– if I get around to posting a yelp review I will link it, but I tend to be a lot more wordy on my blog so there is more room for emotion to show through here than on Yelp which can strain from the overall meat of a review.  **Yelp review added- Check it out here For those asking- my bad experience was at The Orthopedic Clinic Association (TOCA) and with Dr. Zoltan.

I guess there were red flags from the beginning that I should have seen:

One- all other docs were booked up and this one had a quick opening

Two- when I checked in at 9:30am for my 9:45am appointment I was told there was one other patient ahead of me. I sat down and that patient was called back, but then an older gentleman walked in the door (the office staff all greeted him kindly as it seemed he must be a frequent flier at the office) and I hear the receptionist tell him that she does not have him down for an appointment for this day- but she would try to get him on the schedule.  Next thing I know- he gets called back to go see my doctor at 9:40am.  It was after 10 before I was taken back to an exam room for my 9:45 appointment (that I DID have)

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When the Doc finally came in about 10 minutes later he was very too the point- asked me what I was in there for and as I began to tell him a very abbreviated version of what happened he cuts me off and says “how are you right now- what is going on right now- how do you feel?”

I was so caught off guard that I blabbered out “well to be honest, right now I feel pretty good- I have very little pain and I mostly have range of motion issues and problems with certain movements.” I had not even told him exactly what injury had occurred so all he had heard was I was on an obstacle course inflatable on Saturday March 28th and the inflatable had sunk under me- Jason pipes in- “Jess you do have pain- especially with certain twists and pivots.” Doc motions for me to climb up on the exam table ( via  a large pull out step stool) and as I am struggling (I assume part of his dx of me was to watch me and see what I could and could not do) Jason finally stands up and offers to support me so I can hoist myself up. At this point I say “I do have an MRI disk that we gave to your office- it says I have a completely torn ACL and a 2nd grade MCL tear, at which point I lay down and stop talking because honestly it felt like he was not listening and or didn’t really want to hear me talking anyways.

He then proceeds to “scold” me for having an ace wrap on, telling me I will get blood clots and to not use it anymore” (I had been following the other doctors recommendation and it was providing some relief, support and peace of mind) He then tugged on my leg and knee and did a few massage probes- none of which was anything that sent me into my “pain” moments- he never turned my knee into the “pain” and at one point where he was massaging was “tender” so I said so but other then that really nothing else.  He asked me “what kinds of sports did you enjoy prior to this injury?” and I said- “I have been doing water aerobics” and he says “good” then he walks towards the door and says “I am gonna go have a look at the images” and walks out the door total time that passed had to of been no more than 3 minutes- if that and most of that was because I was struggling to get up on the table.

I turned to Jas and said “you don’t like him do you?”- cause I was already feeling very underwhelmed by his demeanor personally-but I also know that sometimes the best doctors are not the most personable.  Jason sort of shrugs and says “not for me to decide- as long as he is good and professional at what he does and makes you comfortable.”  Doc comes back in and says he is just waiting for the imaging center to send over their report of the MRI reading and Jason reaches into our folder and hands him our copy-  He disappears again and when he comes back he says:

“So I do not think you have an MCL tear- if you did you would be in pain- even today” (not because in reviewing the images of the MRI he sees no tear- but because I was not showing him the pain he felt I should have been showing)  He then says “I also do not think your ACL is completely torn- it is torn- but it is likely that you had that tear long before this injury and have just been unaware of it”  WHAT????– oooookay? I say “well I did hear and feel a pop when it happened” and he just goes “so?” and shrugs- then he proceeds with  “So I am not recommending surgery right away- I am going to aggressively rehab you with physical therapy and we will see where you are in 2, 3, 6 months”  I was still sort of stunned that his dx is so different then what 2 other medical professionals agreed was wrong. I already knew I was going to at minimum get another opinion (so technically a 4th opinion) but now having 2 saying one thing and 1 saying something different I may need several more opinions.  It felt like he was wrapped up and heading out so I snapped out of my stunned daze and I said to him “I have a few questions- so he says “ok shoot”- I mention that I am going to DC and I want to be extra cautious- so if I can not use an ace wrap can I get a brace? ” he replies “Yup, next?” – I then ask, if it is possible to get a temporary parking permit mostly for use on my DC trip- again to be extra cautious- and he says “Sure- I don’t have any DC paperwork though” and he turns to walk out the door.  I tell him DC recognizes Arizona’s permits so he says “sure- anything else?” At this point he is half way out the door- so I turn to Jason who is just about purple with fury and I say “You don’t have any other questions do you hun” Jason just shakes his head because he already recognizes this is all futile with the man so why waste anymore breath. Doc then points his fingers at Jas like a little gun, gives him a wink and turns down the hall.

And that was our experience with this Doc.  Jason immediately says – “no.” and I knew exactly what he meant and agreed.

A PT comes in to fit me for a brace and a nurse comes in with paperwork for the physical therapy plan and some referral form saying that he was “referring us to such and such doc” Jason says “what and who is this? He never mentioned anything about any referral.”  So she says- “hmmm let me go check”  I get my brace on and nurse comes back and takes the referral saying “never-mind” and as the PT is about to leave he says “Any questions?” to which I exasperatedly sigh “not for YOU”  Jason mutters- “so is that it? are we to just leave now? We really do not feel like we have been taken very well care of at all here today?”   PT says “yup he just wants to see you again in four weeks”  to which I say “THAT will NOT be happening- we will NOT be coming back here again.”  PT sort of shrugs and walks away and we head towards the exit.
The office staff pipe up “do you need to make a follow up?” and I say “well Doc wants one- but we will NOT be doing that.”  This of course sets them into “fix it mode” likely because we are within ear shot of the lobby just over their desk- they stand up and walk over saying “is everything ok” and Jason says- “not really.”  I finally turn to her and then- everything I had been holding in comes out and I lose it.  I start crying and blubbering about what an awful experience I had just endured- I felt rushed, not listened to, like I have more questions than answers like I was annoying the doctor and he had no time for me- especially to explain how he came to a different dx than what other professionals have told me etc.  She asks if she can get her supervisor and I say “its not going to help- we are not coming back here ever again”  She keeps on saying she hates to see me leave as upset as I was and I tell her “well it is what it is- this is how I feel about what just happened nothing is going to change that”- and we walk into the lobby.  At this point the lobby was packed and almost everyone was staring at me- so I just grin and say- “Run- do NOT go here.” and we leave the building. From the moment the doc had walked in to the moment we were walking out was all of 23 minutes–(this included him reviewing the MRI, and the PT fitting me for the brace and my unloading on the office staff etc— I know because Jason had posted the picture of me on his facebook a few minutes before the doctor walked in and  I texted my BFF about it while in the car driving home so there are time stamps.

I do feel a ton more confident walking with the brace on so at least something good came from the visit and the specialist co-pay.

In the end he could be absolutely right- maybe I am not as injured as the MRI imaging X-Ray tech who reads MRIs for a living  said- or the Urgent care doctor that was the 2nd read of the images said- maybe that is why it hasn’t seemed to be as sever as what others have experienced- but what if I just have a different pain tolerance level or what if my fat is cushioning it all and providing support and lessening the pain, what if I also did nerve damage that makes the pain less then it “should be?” Even so-  he did at least agree that I do have a tear of some sort on my ACL (but never said what degree he felt it was)- I wish he would have been a better doctor that would have sat and showed us what he was seeing or was not seeing on the MRI images so we could understand.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.

So that is that- I will make a few additional appointments for when I get back from DC and we will go from there.

It is likely he is right- I am not as badly injured as the initial reports said- after all I am feeling really, really good and everyone is always so surprised how little pain I have been in- but after his rushed attitude and his demeanor- we have a hard time just trusting his 10 minute review of the situation.

Here We Are- Send Us

Am I the only person simply beside myself that it is the end of March already?  How did this happen?  How are we now squarely in the true season of spring and already flirting with summer temps?  How is it that plans for how to recreate the kiddos during summer vacation are already underway, prime camping spots in the White Mts. are already booked for June and class schedules for NEXT school year are already registered for?  I know they say as you get older the time seems to go faster and the advice is to relish every bit of it you can.  When we take a good hard look at the time we logistically have left with two sons living under our roof, my heart races and I begin to panic about all of the experiences we still have yet to have with them. The “bucket list” so to speak, begins to look daunting.

Every year around January 1st I sit down and make a list of “intentions” (not resolutions but more thoughtful genuine goals) for different areas of our life. Parenting is one of those areas that gets a lot of pondering in the New Year.  As much parenting of teenagers advise as I can cram in- the basic foundation of all that sound sage always circles back to “being intentional.”  I have written about our “Fit Family Fun” goals for the year a few times already- those are meant to sculpt and mold our bodies and help reshape our minds about the lifestyle choices we make.  Jason and I both plugged in at Sun Valley as youth leaders in junior high and high school as a way to help shape the boys (and our own) hearts spiritually.  Along those goals we have really tried to instill charity and generosity in the boys and we have been praying about having a family perspective experience together to truly let those lessons sink in.

So coming this fall, we will get a huge check mark on a big ticket item on our Parenting Bucket List.

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In just seven months from now, we will set off to serve together in Monterrey, Mexico on a short term mission trip.  We began the process of planning by attending some informational meetings at church just before the holidays last year to get the basic info and began praying about if this was the right time for our family to embark on something like this. The trip happens to fall exactly during the boys fall break from school so it was a really good fit for us time wise. Let me be raw and honest though- the praying was filled with lots of doubt at first- “but God, that is pretty expensive”  “But God, we have a son with autism- how will we work through all of that?”  “But God, the boys passports are expiring this summer” “But, God, we do not speak Spanish, even though we are all native Arizonians.”  “But God, we already have a Disney Cruise with family booked at nearly that exact same time, who would we be disappointing if we choose this instead?” “But God, I am scared of stepping outside of my comfort zone and having my eyes truly opened to this new perspective”   The more we prayed on it the more our hearts seemed to be hearing God softly wash away all of the doubts and resolve all of the “buts” and we began to hear Him more clearly simply saying “Go.”

I plan to blog about our journey as much as I can beginning now. I hope to share with all of you about the logistical leg work, our fundraising efforts, our prayer requests and much more over the coming months.  I know as a family that will be embarking on this journey with a special needs teenager our perspective along the way may be unique and valuable to others that find themselves in similar life circumstances.  Maybe one of the ways God plans to use us on this trip is to encourage others like us that keep saying “but” to listen for their own “Go.” Maybe he plans to have someone meet His Son through a conversation with one of us, and maybe He plans to break off some of the hardening around our own hearts that we have selfishly clung to.  Who knows- but I am excited to find out what it is- whatever it will be.

We will be going with a short term Mission Team from Sun Valley Community Church in partnership with Back2Back Ministry.  Back 2 Back exists to love and care for vulnerable children, by meeting their spiritual, physical, educational, emotional and social needs so that they might overcome their life  circumstances and break free from the cycle of generational poverty.

In order to help make this trip a reality, we are in charge of raising a total of $5,800 to cover the costs for all four member of The Geroux Crew to participate. We are trying to do this in a number of creative ways (and we will share more about those soon), but we are also looking for people to join us on this journey. If you would be willing to make a financial contribution to our trip, you can do so by visiting www.sunvalleycc.com/onlinegiving and making an online donation using a debit card, credit card, or e-check. After creating an account, and logging in, please select, “Monterrey 2015” from the “Fund” drop down menu, and then one of our names (Jason, Jessie, Tyler or Connor Geroux) from the “Sub Fund” drop down menu and we will be notified of your gift. All donations are tax deductible and documentation will be provided by the church at the end of this tax year. Any funds donated will be designated to our team, due to IRS regulations, cannot be refunded for any reason. Alternatively, you can mail a check made out to “Sun Valley Community Church” with our names in the memo space and send it to the church directly at 456 E Ray Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296.

Will you consider joining us on this journey in prayer?  There are many tasks to complete and ducks to get in a row between now and October so prayers for all of the logistics to go smoothly would be greatly appreciated.  Our special needs are not the only unique individual challenges on the team that will be traveling. Many members have their own hurdles to overcome to make this trip a reality for them and theirs as well. Prayers for health and safety are also greatly appreciated.  Even if you cannot make a financial contribution, please let us know that you are praying for us.  It would be just as valuable!

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Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. Matthew 5:13-14 (MSG)

We know this journey, this step to be obedient to God will season our lives and we can not wait to share those flavors with all of you.  Thank you for reading this far.  Simply put- we won’t be able to do with with support.  Both financially and spiritually in the form of prayer so we thank you in adavance for walking along side us!

Much Love

J2 Tyco Geroux Crew

 

 

 

 

J2- 15th Wedding Anniversary

Well we hit the 15 year mark of marital bliss.

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We weather our share of storms but for the most part we come out on the other side with a sunshine warmth that helps us to remember just how blessed we are to have one another.  The laughter and joy that we share on a regular basis is really the biggest part of the soundtrack of our daily lives.  It is hard to think that in just a few short years we will be empty nesters and have that “honeymoon” phase that we skipped over having become parents so quickly into our marriage.  Some times I can think back on the early years of our marriage and remember the days like watching a movie, others it takes a memory jogger like a forgotten melody or smell of a certain recipe to throw me back into reminiscence.

I scanned a few more of our wedding photos and put them to a short little video to share with my hunnybear.

 

 

Jason got me a beautiful crystal vase with lovely roses and I got him a new fancy fountain pen with the world etched in it to show him that he is my world.

As a surprise I packed up a little picnic and drove Jason over to the place where he proposed Mountain View Park in Chandler- to have a candle lit picnic at sunset-

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It was a lovely way to celebrate the past 15 years and share our dreams about what the next 15 years will hold.

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Cali bound!

All four of us headed to California to visit Mickey and friends- but we rarely hung out together at all.

Jess and Connor went with Sun Valley Community Church junior high winter camp and Jas and Ty headed over on their own to just have some father son time.

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All in all it was a great trip- my memories consist of the time I spent with my amazing cabin of girls.  Man was it a blessing to spend time with each of them.

On Sunday Sun Valley headed out to Santa Monica Pier and did a cool version of the Amazing Race which was absolutely exhausting.  Here are some fun snippets of that

Happy birthday Baby Liss!!

WE got to head to Tucson for the day to celebrate my neices 1st birthday.  She was every bit a princess as she possibly could be- while also playing in dirt- the perfect combo for a girl if I must say!

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I have been enjoying the little “auto awesome” feature that Google has been doing with photos and videos on my phone lately so here is a fabulous montage of the celebration.

We best not blink or she will be grown.

Happy 2015!!

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The new year started a bit rough for the Geroux Crew— Jessie, Tyler and Connor both got what we would consider “the flu” and Jason followed shortly behind once we were on the med with a weird sinus infection hearing loss episode.  So yay!

We had a very busy month in December hosting gatherings, parties and Christmas and so we opted to just lay low for New Years and watch the festivities on tv.  We actually made it to the real Arizona midnight (all four of us- woot!)

We didn’t make any actual resolutions per say but we do have a family goal to go out once a month and be “active” in some way together.

May your New year be Merry and Bright!